Thursday, August 30, 2012

Got Tagged Again

I was tagged by Anna of Barefoot Arrow Song, a nice blog of Elvish taste.
Let me answer her 11 questions then.
Let me not list the rules though, because I will have to break four out of five anyway: I will answer, but I won't tag anyone this time.

Ok, let's go.
Here are the eleven questions I'm supposed to answer:
1. If you could meet your death at the hand of any fictional character, who would be your worthy opponent?
2. What kind of character would you be in a science fiction epic?
3. If you decided to be a super villain, would you win? Why or why not?
4. Pick a plant - tree, flower, herb, or something else flora. Now character sketch: What is his/her personality as a human?
5. What's an unpopular opinion you hold about music?
6. What do you do with notebooks/sketchpads/journals/diaries/similar once you've filled them up?
7. Your doorbell rings. Surprise! It's me! What is your first thought/action?
8. What book/movie/show do you love that you wouldn't recommend to anyone else?
9. You offer a shivering eight-year-old stranger your coat. She smiles at you, and you're not sure if it's a nice smile or a cruel smile, and runs away. You stick your hands in your pockets only to find something in them that wasn't there before. What is it?
10. What is the loveliest voice to fall asleep to?
11. Did you ever get excited when you found out two people you know (or know of) know each other? If so, who?

1 - He has to be intelligent, so no women and no superheroes. Jorge of Burgos I think. 
2 - An extremely contradictory hero.
3 - No, I can't win. I will succumb the moment I show a spark of humanness and vulnerability, and the audience will feel sorry after all.
4 - Nettle. An itchy character, people keep out of his reach, until, for some fateful twist in the plot, they are  forced to deal with him.
5 - That The Beatles suck for the most.
6 - Store them in my bookcase, somewhere safe, so that I can access them whenever I need to. And have them burned with me when I'm no more.
7 - Look, it's late, I'm tired, I was going to sleep. Come back tomorrow, ok? SLAM.
8 - A movie: The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover by John Greenaway.
9 - Money. Yeah, sorry but, money. A lot of money. As shallow as it may sound.
10 - Sean Connery's.
11 - Why should I get excited if I'm not involved?

Well, that's it.
That's it, right?
Yea, that's it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Down With Plastic

You will hardly find plastic bags in the European Union now.
All the bags are biodegradable, made from corn fabric and other similar natural and fiber materials.
Looks and feels like plastic, but it isn’t. They naturally melt after a period of a few weeks.
Is that progress or not.

We all know how useless and environmentally unfriendly plastic bags are. Yet, supermarkets won’t spare the use of them. The cashiers, in some cases, will give you up to a plastic bag per item! I mean it! I saw that! It’s only in the higher level grocery stores you will pay 5c or 10c for a plastic bag, but who can’t really afford to pay that?
The next thing you see is a seagull going through slow death because he remained trapped in a plastic bag, or a whale floating dead in the water with a swollen stomach because she took a plastic bag for jelly fish.

“Oh well, I never leave plastic bags in the environment”.

That’s not the point, prick! Don’t you get it? You won’t, but someone else will and ten cents for a plastic bag are not enough to stop stupidity in action.
The system clearly doesn’t work.

And people won’t buy fabric bags for $2 either. Why should they, when they can have ten plastic bags, perhaps more, for $1? They’re too unintelligent to realize that buying three fabric bags for $6, they won’t have to spend a penny on shopping bags for years. People just don’t have an eye in the future; they can only see the here and now.

So, the Europeans are going through their Great Depression; they’re burning out billions of Euros per day. Still, there’s something important we can learn from them.

Do you use lots of plastic bags?


Sunday, August 12, 2012

To Rome With Love

The most disappointing Woody Allen movie ever. I thought Bananas was the worst one before seeing To Rome with Love.
The expectations were fully met, though: when the Europeans scoff at a Woody Allen movie and the Americans love it, you’re sure your money is going wasted.

The script is simply lame. Not a single line to salvage, not a single gig.
The Italian actors suck; the American are nothing better. The acting of the Italians is exaggeratedly enhanced. We’re not simply talking about the typically Italian way to overuse their body language; this is pure abuse, not to mention the absolutely unnatural and unreal way they speak, offering poor imitations of Woody Allen’s idiosyncrasies. Benigni is the only exception.
The acting of the Americans is pure mediocrity. The presence of Woody Allen in the cast serves as a weak filler to the many gaps the movie has.

It was back in high school when a verse by ancient Greek lyric poet Pindar expressed what I thought was an obvious truism. I can’t recall the exact words he used but, talking about artists, he stated that a genius can never be mediocre; he can either produce works of lofty heights or pieces whose low quality can only be termed garbage.
Woody Allen lately reached his highest peaks with Midnight in Paris, Whatever Works, and Hollywood Ending, without mentioning his earlier films.
To Rome with Love, abiding by Pindar’s statement, is merely garbage.

Have you seen To Rome with Love?
Which is your favorite Woody Allen movie? 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Honolulu, I'm coming!!

Merlin in The Sword in the Stone
Well, it's not really Honolulu, and it's not really a vacation. But I'm out of town and was unable to write my blog post today.
But hey, this is only postponed.
You will be able to read my review of To Rome with Love by the end of the weekend.
Saturday? Sunday?
Hmm, let me surprise you.

Enjoy the rest of the week!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Street Mirror - 2011
Everyone stands alone 
at the heart of the earth
Pierced by a ray of sunlight.
And suddenly, it is evening. 

Salvatore Quasimodo 

I am European.

I sometimes cast a glance to the other side of the ocean, and sigh from nostalgia. This happens more and more often as time passes by.
I've been wondering, all these years, what it is that makes me miss my lands so much. The conclusion was not hard to reach: change.

Everything has irremediably changed in my hometown and the people who live there. Details which were once dear to me and whose memory I am so fond of do not exist anymore.
The nut tree in my garden I used to climb up is no longer there. The fig tree is also no longer there. What once was a green stretch of land, is now the limited backyard of some disgraced architecture.
The people have changed. My friends are older, more tired. Sadder. Some of them have whiter hair. Nobody plays soccer on Saturday afternoon at the old broken down tennis court we used for a soccer court; nobody goes there, not anymore, because the children don't play soccer anymore on Saturday afternoon. But the court hangs on; time scarred it with a few breaches around which the ground swelled up a bit.
Poor forlorn tennis court. 
I used to visit a friend every Saturday and Sunday afternoon until a few years ago. We'd have long chats in the garden, under the maple tree. Then, his old mother would make tea accompanied by Ladyfingers. She used to buy them especially for me, and we'd talk and talk for long hours.
And suddenly, we've grown older. Last year she couldn't remember who I was. It took my friend and I two hours to help her remember a few details about me. The day after I had to explain everything all over again. The tea with the Ladyfingers were not there waiting for me. My friend, seeing my disappointment, said, "I can go buy the Ladyfingers for you and we can have tea".
I told him, "It wouldn't make sense anymore. Don't buy them. Let's just have some tea".
And as my mother drove past his house, last week, she saw how unadorned the garden was. My friend's mother is now too old to even plant flowers; only the nice Settembrine that my friend himself plants and adores remain.
No more vegetable garden. No more beans, tomatoes, zucchini. No more sage or parsley. No more roses. No more nothing.

Yet, my friend says that things haven't really changed. I know very well that he's just trying to make me feel better about it. But the last time I saw him, I could perceive the aura of sadness that surrounded him. It seemed to me that the calm acceptance of the universal order we all believe in within our circle of friends has become, now, a painful and sorrowful resignation that my friend tries to disguise but can no longer hide.

So, on my way back home, I'm afraid of what I will find.
But even more, I'm afraid of what I won't find.

Is your return home as heavyhearted as that?